Research released today suggests you may not need to go to the gym twice a day to get the health benefits of exercise– physical activity of any intensity could make a difference to life expectancy .A new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has shown that spending more than nine and a half hours a day sitting (as opposed to standing or walking, for example) is associated with an increased risk of death.
While physical activity has long been known to increase life expectancy, this research looked at the differences in intensity.
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It compared light activity, such as walking slowly or light tasks such as cooking dinner or washing dishes; moderate activity including brisk walking, vacuuming or mowing the lawn; and vigorous activity, like jogging, carrying heavy loads or digging.
Lead author Leonie Heron of Queen’s University Belfast said that the research “means that even if you meet the recommended levels of activity (the NHS advises at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week), you are still at higher risk of some of these health conditions if you are spending long periods of time sitting down during the day.
Researchers followed 36,383 participants aged 40 and above for an average of 5.8 years.
They found that any level of physical activity, regardless of intensity, was associated with a substantially lower risk of death.
The largest reduction in risk of death (about 60-70 per cent) was between the least active and most active participants.
Researchers suggest that the public health message might simply be “sit less and move more and more often”.The research was led by Professor Ulf Ekelund at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, who specialises in physical activity epidemiology and has undertaken similar studies in the past.
Like fruits, vegetables are important for good health. Experts suggest 5-9 servings of fruits/vegetables a day, but unfortunately it may be difficult at times. However, when you can, include foods like kidney beans, black beans, asparagus, long beans, green beans, and carrots. Think about your favorite vegetables and how you can include more of them in your diet every day, and pick bright-colored foods. Fruits and vegetables with bright colors are good for health because they remove the things in our body that damage our cells. So, get your fill of fruits/vegetables of different colors: White (Bananas, Mushroom), Yellow (Pineapples, Mango), Orange (Orange, Papaya), Red (Apple, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon), Green (Guava, Avocados, Cucumber, Lettuce, Celery), Purple/Blue (Blackberries, Eggplant, Prunes).
Last year, officials warned that four in five people are at risk of early death from heart attack or stroke.According to Public Health England, around 24,000 of deaths in England every year are in people under the age of 75, and 80 per cent of these are preventable, which is equivalent to around 50 per day.